Military Review

"Massacre at Fort Pillow"

33
"Among the gracious lilies beyond the sea, Christ is born,
With his blood, with his body, the world around is transfigured

On the Cross for us He died - for Freedom we will die,
Once God keeps step here. ”
("The Battle Hymn of the Republic")


Last time, in the material on mortars, the story was told about how the Confederate fort, which had the funny name Pillow (“Pillow”), surrendered to the northerners after bombardment of 330-mm mortars mounted on armored rafts. And, by the way, it is not at all surprising that he gave up. Well, and he was named that way, by the way, was not just like that, but by the name of his builder, brigadier general Gideon Pillow, at the very beginning of the war. He was at a distance of 40 miles (64 km) north of Memphis, that is, guarded the approaches to it, but with the fall of the island number 10 4 June defenders of the fort, so that they are not cut off from the rest of the army, left the fort. Northerners occupied Fort Pillow on June 6 and used it to defend the approaches along the river to Memphis.

"Massacre at Fort Pillow"

Massacre at Fort Pillow. Color poster 1885, created to Americans did not forget about this event.

The fort stood on a high hill and was protected by three lines of trenches semicircle around it, with a protective parapet 4 feet (1,2 m) thick and from 6 to 8 feet (from 1,8 to 2,4 m) in height, surrounded by a moat. During the battles, it turned out that this “structure” was ill-conceived. Because of the large width of the parapet, the gunners of the fort's artillery guns could not shoot at the attackers as soon as they approached.


The building of the museum on the territory of Fort Pillow.

However, according to American military historian David George Eicher, Fort Pillow is famous not for these military details, but for the fact that one of the most severe and sad events of the American military is connected with it. stories. Interesting isn't it? What could be such a harsh event to talk about him like that? It turns out that he had every reason for this!


So Fort Pillow looks today from the inside.

It must be said here that the civil war in the United States was different from all other civil wars by the presence of a distinct racial accent in it. Moreover, the use of blacks as a Union soldier, in conjunction with Abraham Lincoln's decree on the release of slaves, very outraged the Confederation, outraged so much that the Confederates called this his act uncivilized. As early as May 1863, the Confederation passed a response law, according to which black American soldiers captured during the war with the Confederation should be considered as insurgents, and they should be tried in civilian courts with an automatic death penalty. It was argued that the Confederates should take adequate measures against blacks. Here, of course, banal envy also played its role. Indeed, with the stroke of a pen, Lincoln acquired thousands of brave and disciplined soldiers who ... fought just like white soldiers, but saved their lives, which was beneficial for the northerners in all respects, but the southerners could not afford this in principle.


One of the old guns of Fort Pillow.

And then it was that 16 March 1864, Major General Southerner Nathan Bedford Forrest launched his famous monthly cavalry raid with 7000 cavalrymen across the territory of the states of West Tennessee and Kentucky. The purpose of the raid was to destroy the supply bases and break into Memphis.


Map of the location of Fort Pillow on the Mississippi.

On his way stood the fort of Pillow, and he decided to capture him, using the fact that his garrison consisted of only 600 people.


Rifles defenders of the fort in the exhibition of his museum.

Well, the “Pillow” garrison really consisted of approximately 600 soldiers, divided almost equally into black and white. Black soldiers were from the 6 Regiment of colored heavy artillery, and part of the soldiers from the Memphis Light Artillery Brigade, under the general command of Major Lionel F. Bout, who was only two weeks in the fort. Bout was supposed to transfer his regiment from Memphis to Fort Pillow 28 March, but did not have time to do so. The former slaves who served in his regiment understood very well what threatened them to find themselves in the hands of the Confederates, because according to the law adopted by the southerners they were not considered prisoners of war. They heard that the Confederates threatened to kill any blacks from the Union army whom they would meet. White soldiers were mostly recruits of the Tennessee 13 Cavalry Regiment, commanded by Major William F. Bradford.


Artilleryman army northerners.

Forrest's cavalry approached the Pillow fort on April 12 in 10: 00. A stray bullet hit Forrest's horse, causing him to fall to the ground along with the horse and severely hurt himself. And it was only the first horse. And just under him that day they killed three horses (!), But he himself was not seriously injured. K 11: The 00 confederates seized two rows of barracks at a distance of 150 yards (140 m) from the southern tip of the fort. The northerner soldiers from the fort could not destroy them, and the Confederates took advantage of this and led aimed fire at the fort's garrison.


Another gun that defended Fort Pillow.

Southerners fired at the fort until 3: 30, after which Forrest sent Bedford a request to surrender: “I demand the unconditional surrender of the garrison and promise that you will be considered prisoners of war. My people have just received a fresh supply of ammunition, their position is very advantageous. If my request is rejected, I cannot be held responsible for the fate of the people entrusted to you. ” Bradford asked for an hour to think, but Forrest, fearing that he was waiting for help that would come to him by the river, answered that he only gave 20 minutes. Bedford replied that he did not intend to surrender, and Forrest ordered his troops to begin the assault.


Army officer southerners.

While the snipers were firing at the fort, the first wave of attackers descended into the moat and stopped there, while the soldiers of the second wave climbed up their backs, as if on steps. Having risen on a parapet, they rushed into bayonets, and after a short fierce fight, they threw the unionists away from the shaft and from the guns.

Later, the survivors of the garrison showed that most of them after that surrendered and abandoned weapon, but as soon as this happened, they were shot or stabbed by the attackers, who at the same time shouted: “No Quarter! There is no quarter! ”What this meant, but this: many negros, trying to escape, shouted that they were Quarterons and had never been slaves in the South. Recall Mine Reed's Quarter. Many of the Quarterns were indeed very similar to whites, but in the eyes of the southerners they continued to be slaves. Immediately after the Southerners left the fort, the “incident at Fort Pillow” was investigated by a special commission, which concluded that the Confederates had shot most of the garrison after it had surrendered. Historian Andrew Ward in 2005 also concluded that this atrocity against prisoners of war, including the killing of civilians at Fort Pillow, had certainly occurred, but that it was not authorized by the Southerners.


Piece of Fort Plowlow's 32-pound gun barrel.

Historian Richard Fuchs, wrote: "In the fort" Pillow "there was a real orgy of death, a massacre, based on the manifestation of the most base feelings, racism and personal dislike that had taken place." The intolerance of the Southerners was manifested in the murder of unarmed black-skinned people who dared, against their will, to take up arms for the sake of freedom.


Belt buckles of soldiers of the southern states.

Confirmation that all this was just that, and not otherwise, was found in a letter to the home of one of the sergeants Forrest, sent shortly after the battle at Fort Pilush, which said that "poor, deceived negros fell to their knees, and with a raised hand, they begged for mercy, but, despite their pleas, they were all killed. ” True, the Southerners then insisted that the Union soldiers, even if they fled, held arms in their hands and often turned back and fired, so that the Confederates also had to shoot at them in self-defense.


Belt and chest buckles of soldiers of the southern states.

Northerners, of course, did not even want to listen to anything like that. Their newspapers reported: "The attack of the southerners on the fort" Pillow ": the total extermination of its defenders. Shocking scenes of wildness! ”


Belt buckles of soldiers of the northern states.

The newspaper "The New York Times" 24 of April reported: "The blacks and their officers were killed with bayonets and sabers in the most cold-blooded manner ... Of the four hundred Negro soldiers, only about twenty managed to survive! At least three hundred of them were villainally destroyed after the surrender! ”

General Ulysses Grant later wrote that on April 12 of 1864 at Fort Pillow there was a real massacre! In the 1908, the following statistics were presented on the northerners in this battle: 350 killed and mortally wounded, 60 injured of varying degrees of severity, 164 people were captured or missing, and 574 people from 600 defenders of the fort. There are other data, for example, that of the men in the 585 or 605 fort were killed from 277 to 297. Major Bradford was apparently among those executed after he surrendered.


The breech weapon of the army of northerners.

What happened after that? But this: the Southerners left the fort that evening, since there was absolutely nothing to do there. Then, on April 17 of 1864, General Grant ordered General Benjamin F. Butler, who was negotiating to exchange prisoners with the Confederation, to demand that the black soldiers be treated properly, like the white. But Southerners rejected this demand, explaining that they would not change Negroes for their soldiers!

The latter, however, is not surprising, since even 30 July 1863, President Abraham Lincoln adopted the so-called “Act of retribution”, the essence of which was that for every soldier of the US Army killed in this war one of the captive rebels would be sent to penal servitude all the ensuing consequences!


Here in this book about Fort Pillow's events are told well, just in great detail!

3 May 1864 at a meeting with the President discussed how to respond to the massacre at Fort Pilush, and cabinet members made various proposals, in particular, in the case of the capture of Forrest or Chalmers (one of the officers who participated in that battle) , put them on trial for violating the laws of war.


Nathan Bedford Forrest.

As a result, Nathan Bedford Forrest was not convicted by the court, and then he became the first Great Klux Klan Wizard, although he later withdrew from this "organization"!
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33 comments
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  1. corporal
    corporal 16 June 2016 06: 23
    0
    The Geneva Convention did not yet exist. So there is no point in condemning the southerners in hindsight.
  2. V.ic
    V.ic 16 June 2016 06: 31
    +4
    The only REAL war in the USA. By the way, Lincoln had domestic black slaves, but he did not give them freedom.
  3. qwert
    qwert 16 June 2016 07: 27
    +4
    Quote: V.ic
    By the way, Lincoln had domestic black slaves, but he did not give them freedom.
    Well, it’s not for the freedom of blacks that they fought there.
  4. Riv
    Riv 16 June 2016 08: 24
    +8
    Please note: the Confederate officer has nothing more. Even the insignia are not noticeable, not to mention some poses and decorations. The South experienced enormous difficulties in supplying the army, hence the simplicity of form.
    But the southern gentlemen found a way out. To differ from ordinary soldiers, they wore a buttonhole ... a toothbrush.
  5. parusnik
    parusnik 16 June 2016 08: 49
    +4
    with the decree of Abraham Lincoln on the liberation of slaves, the Confederation was very indignant..Also, slaves were freed on the territory of the Confederation, but not on the territory of the Northern States, where slavery existed .. The US Civil War for the liberation of slaves was a continuous myth .. Other goals were pursued ..Remember Jules Verne’s novel “Quarteron”... The author of "Quarteronka" recalled Mine Reed.
    1. kalibr
      16 June 2016 09: 46
      +1
      There was no slavery north of the Mason Dixon line! So why was Lincoln giving freedom to free people?
      1. Riv
        Riv 16 June 2016 10: 23
        +2
        Not certainly in that way. Slaves were forbidden to BUY. But the law did not prohibit selling them.
      2. qwert
        qwert 16 June 2016 11: 04
        +3
        Quote: kalibr
        There was no slavery north of the Mason Dixon line! So why was Lincoln giving freedom to free people?

        Duc, typical American behavior. - Many beautiful words for those who do not know the truth!
      3. parusnik
        parusnik 16 June 2016 12: 24
        +2
        kalibr.. But it’s interesting, for example, in Northern Virginia, slavery has not been canceled for a long time .. and during the civil war, federal troops guarded the plantations on which the slaves worked ... And the most interesting fact is that Soviet historians are unanimous with the Americans about the American civil war, as a war for the liberation of slaves .... And Giuseppe Garibaldi arose a desire to fight for the northerners, sent a request received an official answer .. That this war is a war for the preservation of the Union, and not for the liberation of blacks .. And Garibaldi did not receive such an answer went to fight .. and the desire was ... V.I. Lenin in one of his works with the echidze writes about how the land holdings of the southern planters were reduced and how the land holdings of the Yankees increased sharply after the civil war .. I remember the statistics in the tables were..And the thing that I was always very surprised ... how could the agricultural South, with the majority of its population being slaves, confront the industrialized North for four years and, most importantly, the Negro for their rights We fought after the release .. Interesting release without rights ..
        1. kalibr
          16 June 2016 17: 22
          +2
          Quote: parusnik
          And the most that I was always very surprised ... how could the agricultural South, with the majority of its population being slaves, confront the industrialized North for four years and, most importantly, the Negroes fought for their rights after liberation .. Interesting release without rights ..
          - Here! This surprised not only you. There was a man "there" also surprised by this. He ... well, he did a lot of things. Moreover, he created a whole new science and proved a lot of things with its help. Received the Nobel Prize! But about him, his science, and the slavery of blacks, the article is ahead. Therefore, it is so indefinite. And your words will go into it as an epigraph. Do not you mind?
          1. parusnik
            parusnik 16 June 2016 19: 12
            +2
            And your words will go into her epigraph. Do not you mind?.... If .. suitable .. By the way I look forward to it .. But not for the epigraph .. But an article is ahead of him, his science, and Negro slavery. .. Intrigued ..
            1. kalibr
              16 June 2016 19: 41
              +1
              Thanks! By the way, the rights of the blacks were just given. Voting right. Recall how Gone With the Wind describes the orgy of black voting in the southern states.
    2. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 16 June 2016 10: 44
      +1
      Maybe I'm wrong, I read a book with that title in the hospital. I think Bret Garth.
      Yes, at all times Merikans knew how to cover anything with beautiful words. And even turn their meaning upside down.
      A new topic for me. Now I will try to read your early articles on this topic.
      1. qwert
        qwert 16 June 2016 11: 07
        +4
        Quote: Reptiloid
        A new topic for me. Now I will try to read your early articles on this topic.

        Read on this topic Bushkov "The Unknown War. The Secret History of the United States" You will not regret it, I'm sure.
        1. Stirbjorn
          Stirbjorn 8 November 2016 09: 22
          0
          Quote: qwert
          Read on this topic Bushkov "The Unknown War. The Secret History of the United States" You will not regret it, I'm sure.

          I agree, Bushkov contradictions between the North and the South, reveals since the beginning of the first colonists who landed in Masachusetts and Virginia, respectively
      2. kalibr
        16 June 2016 17: 28
        +2
        Dmitry, there were articles about forts. There is no Negro slavery. Here I am not an expert. There will be only one more article on this subject and that’s it.
        1. Reptiloid
          Reptiloid 17 June 2016 00: 10
          0
          I had in mind --- The War of the North and the South. Until I found Fort Sumter. An article about the Cathars, at the beginning of last year, somehow passed me by. This retreat, pleased to read
          . It turned out that the computer sent an article today that the cause of the war between Sveyer and the South is the desire of several states to separate. And now Texas is very serious. Well, and some other States are hoping for a rip-off.
  6. Cartalon
    Cartalon 16 June 2016 09: 46
    +5
    The Confederates didn’t do anything special, there was no surrender, it means the soldiers decided to kill or take prisoners, and the soldiers who stormed the fortress rarely think about humanism
    1. Lester7777
      Lester7777 16 June 2016 12: 00
      0
      “I arrived here with the troops. Twenty-four hours to think - and the will. My first shot is already bondage. The assault is death ”
  7. Lester7777
    Lester7777 16 June 2016 12: 04
    +5
    Always sympathetic to southerners. And I must admit, the northerners were not always examples of nobility. Suffice it to recall General Sherman.
    1. AK64
      AK64 16 June 2016 12: 42
      +1
      Always sympathetic to southerners. And I must admit, the northerners were not always examples of nobility. Suffice it to recall General Sherman.


      This is because you are Soviet, not Russian.
      The Russian Empire officially and actually supported the North.
      Think WHY
      1. andrew42
        andrew42 16 June 2016 13: 03
        +6
        WHY? “Yes, for the same reason why Yeltsin hugged with Clinton.” From political myopia. Formally, it was believed that the southerners enjoyed the support of the British (although the British bourgeoisie looked at this war in the United States in the same way as the USA later on 2 wars of the 20th century in Europe). And Russia had insurmountable contradictions with Britain.
        1. AK64
          AK64 16 June 2016 16: 06
          0
          WHY? “Yes, for the same reason why Yeltsin hugged with Clinton.” From political myopia. Formally, it was believed that the southerners enjoyed the support of the British (although the British bourgeoisie looked at this war in the United States in the same way as the USA later on 2 wars of the 20th century in Europe). And Russia had insurmountable contradictions with Britain.

          And where do you see the "myopia" of the Russian government? (And I'm not talking about Yeltsin --- Yeltsin is not shortsighted, Yeltsin is an alcoholic)

          The Russian Empire has ALWAYS been friends with the United States.
          What's "myopic" about that? This is precisely a very reasonable and consistent policy.

          But friendship with Germany will not work, if not cool.
  8. parusnik
    parusnik 16 June 2016 12: 34
    +6
    Quote: Lester7777
    Always sympathetic to southerners. And I must admit, the northerners were not always examples of nobility. Suffice it to recall General Sherman.

    Yeah ... Sherman killed the Indians for a sweet soul .. And during his famous campaign to the South, he left behind ashes .. Moreover, General Lee, the embodiment of the slave system, liberated his slaves on the eve of the Civil War .. It should be noted that in the South were like stubborn slave owners so quite adequate, who understood that the abolition of slavery was necessary .. But together they resisted the Yankees during the civil war .. Consequently, the abolition of slavery is not the main reason for the civil war ...
    1. AK64
      AK64 16 June 2016 12: 44
      +1
      so quite adequate, who understood that the abolition of slavery was necessary ..


      The main slaveholders were the planters.
      How do you abolish slavery if this is the basis of the transcendence of your plantation?
      1. parusnik
        parusnik 16 June 2016 14: 37
        +1
        AK64How do you abolish slavery if this is the basis of the transcendence of your plantation?... Well, why did the northerners need it? .. Why kill a chicken laying golden eggs ..?
        1. AK64
          AK64 16 June 2016 16: 09
          +1
          Well, why did the northerners need it? .. Why kill a chicken laying golden eggs ..?


          And what kind of "eggs" did the northerners get?

          But the logic is simple: the slave does not have money - the slave does not buy - the slave does not return money to the economy. That is, slavery TAKES money out of the economy.
          1. kalibr
            16 June 2016 17: 25
            0
            Bravo, Andrey!
          2. parusnik
            parusnik 16 June 2016 20: 00
            +2
            AK64 But the logic is simple: the slave does not have money - the slave does not buy - the slave does not return money to the economy. That is, slavery TAKES money out of the economy... and that slave labor was used in the Northern states? .. No, it was not used .. Agriculture in the north of the country did not require the involvement of slave labor, the farms themselves were smaller. The huge size of tobacco, cotton, rice plantations in the south of the country could not do without the involvement of slave labor. By the time the Civil War began, cotton was the main export item for the United States. Of course, without the proper number of slaves, it would have been impossible to cultivate such an amount of cotton that played such an important role in the country's economy. And why did the northerners need to undermine the main item of cotton export ... It's about the goose that lays the golden eggs ... And as a result, the export of cotton, after civil war significantly decreased .. The laborer who worked in the cotton fields, earned a penny .. his only right was to go to another owner .. It is also worth noting that the vast majority of southern slaveholders had at their disposal, as a rule, only a few blacks The number of large slaveholders was relatively small. A significant part of the farmers living in the southern states of the country generally cultivated their small plots of land on their own. However, the very existence of slavery largely determined the development of the South, slaves were a good investment of capital that brought significant profits. The completely different North and The South was in a very unequal political and economic environment. The North could dictate its political will, and the South was forced to obey, even if the demands of the North were unjust and the North by the middle of the XNUMXth century behaved towards the South in much the same way as Great Britain did towards its American colonies on the eve of the War of Independence. The Russian publicist and public figure I.S. Aksakov: "Negroes do not constitute a real reason for war. If it was only about the Negroes, then their emancipation should have ended. Their emancipation is inevitable for the Southern States; but if this emancipation had taken place, then the Northern States would not It is known that some states, in which there is no slavery, wanted to be set aside, but the federalist army forced them to turn to the Union. The point, therefore, in the preservation of the political organization itself. But even if the Southern states submit, it will be not the old one, but a new political organization with the principle of violence and coercion, the organization of the union, nourished, so to speak, by internecine strife, baptized in brotherly blood! "
            1. AK64
              AK64 16 June 2016 20: 19
              0
              I already see that you can’t explain it - because you firmly decided not to listen to the arguments.

              Well, if so, then why will I lose time?

              I said - you didn’t want to hear. well

              and that slave labor was used in the Northern states? .. No, it was not used .. Agriculture in the north of the country did not require the involvement of slave labor, the farms themselves were smaller. The huge size of tobacco, cotton, rice plantations in the south of the country could not do without the involvement of slave labor. By the time the Civil War began, cotton was the main export item for the United States. Of course, without the proper number of slaves, it would have been impossible to cultivate such an amount of cotton that played such an important role in the country's economy. And why did the northerners need to undermine the main item of cotton export ... It's about the goose that lays the golden eggs ... And as a result, the export of cotton, after civil war significantly decreased .. The laborer who worked in the cotton fields, earned a penny .. his only right was to go to another owner .. It is also worth noting that the vast majority of southern slaveholders had at their disposal, as a rule, only a few blacks The number of large slaveholders was relatively small. A significant part of the farmers living in the southern states of the country generally cultivated their small plots of land on their own. Nevertheless, the very existence of slavery largely determined the path of development of the South, slaves were a good investment of capital that brought significant profits. The completely different North and The South was in a very unequal political and economic environment. The North could dictate its political will, and the South was forced to obey, even if the demands of the North were unfair and the North by the middle of the XNUMXth century behaved towards the South in about the same way as Great Britain towards its American colonies on the eve of the War of Independence. The Russian publicist and public figure I.S. Aksakov: "Negroes do not constitute a real reason for war. If it was only about the Negroes, then their emancipation should have ended. Their emancipation is inevitable for the Southern States; but if this emancipation had taken place, then the Northern States would not It is known that some states, in which there is no slavery, wanted to be set aside, but the federalist army forced them to turn to the Union. The point, therefore, in the preservation of the political organization itself. But even if the Southern states submit, it will be not the old one, but a new political organization with the principle of violence and coercion, the organization of the union, nourished, so to speak, by internecine strife, baptized in brotherly blood! "
  9. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 17 June 2016 01: 34
    0
    It is curious that the abolition of slavery in the United States and Russia occurred simultaneously.
    Both there and thereafter there was a leap in economies (second half of the 19th century).
    But the United States continued to accelerate further, and Russia slowed down with further reforms, which
    led to the 1905 revolution, paralyzing the economy.
    1. AK64
      AK64 17 June 2016 05: 07
      +1
      Russia slowed down with further reforms that
      led to the 1905 revolution, paralyzing the economy.


      Nevertheless, in the 1890s and up to 1905, an economic leap followed in Russia. And after the end of the "revolution of 1905-07" there was another leap.
    2. kalibr
      17 June 2016 18: 09
      0
      We had too many holidays!